Q. Consider the following statements regarding the recommendations made by the Fazl Ali Commission (1953) on the reorganization of States:
1. It accepted ‘Linguistic homogeneity’ as the basis of reorganization of the States.
2. It provided for the partition of Bombay between Gujarati and Marathi speaking people.
3. It recommended for the creation of a Sikh state for the Punjabi speaking population.
4. It rejected the demand to carve out tribal states from Assam and Bihar.
How many of the above-given recommendations are correct?

[A] Only one

[B] Only two

[C] All three

[D] None

Answer: B
Notes:

Exp) Option b is the correct answer.

In India, the most vigorous movement for linguistic autonomy was started by the Telugu speakers. They demanded separate state for Telugu speaking population as Andhra Pradesh. In 1952, Potti Sriramulu started fast-unto-death to support his demand for a separate state and died after 56-day hunger strike for the cause. Government of India acceded to the demand and also appointed a 3-member commission in 1953, called as Fazl Ali Commission to recommend reorganization of the States.

Statement 1 is correct: The Commission accepted ‘linguistic homogeneity’ as the basis for reorganization. It accepted language as an important factor conducive to administrative convenience and efficiency. However, it rejected the theory of ‘one language one state’. According to the Commission, unity and integrity of India should be the primary consideration in re-drawing of the borders. It accepted language not as an exclusive or binding principle, overriding all other considerations.

Statement 2 is incorrect: The Commission was not in favor of creating a separate state of Maharashtra for Marathi speaking people and Gujarat for the Gujarati speaking people. It recommended Bombay to remain as it was, that is, a bilingual province of Gujarati and Marathi speakers. However, due to ongoing unrest, the State of Bombay was finally divided into two separate states (Maharashtra and Gujarat) in 1960.

Statement 3 is incorrect: The demand for separate Sikh state was made by Akali Dal under the leadership of Master Tara Singh. The Fazl Ali Commission rejected the demand for creation of a Sikh state. However, in 1966, on the recommendation of Shah Commission, the Punjabi speaking areas were constituted into the unilingual state of Punjab and Hindi-speaking areas were constituted into the state of Haryana and the hill areas were merged with the Himachal Pradesh.

Statement 4 is correct: The Commission had rejected creation of separate tribal states from the states of Bihar and Assam. The Commission observed that the separation of Bihar will affect the economy of the entire state. The tribal region of Chottanagpur Plateau provided an important industrial base. For Assam, the Commission had held that demand by tribals for a separate Hill State reflects the separatist pull of the extremist elements.

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